Introduction to Virology

by Gilbert Dalldorf, M.D., Director, Division of Laboratories and Research, New York State Department of Health, Albany, New York. 102 pp., illustrated. Springfield, Illinois, Charles C. Thomas. 1955. $3.50

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This book constituted a vexing problem to your reviewer because of its briefness. Briefness is an admirable trait, but it poses many problems as to the adequacy of the coverage given in any particular instance. The first eight chapters, covering 70 odd pages, deal with the following subjects: the nature of viruses and virus diseases, the pox diseases, diseases of the liver, of the respiratory tract, virus encephalitis and meningitis, poliomyelitis viruses and related agents, virus infections of the skin and brain, and finally rabies.

The large number of disease conditions covered in so few pages indicates the brevity of the presentation, yet the coverage is surprisingly good as discussion is confined to only the most important highlights and aspects. This first section of the book is, as the author points out, grossly incomplete in a number of respects, but as the book is intended only as an introduction to virology, this is forgivable.